The Death of the Small Van – Vehicle Research



The small van has been dealt the deatth blow with the recent announcement of the end of the Ram ProMaster City van.   -  Photo: Work Truck/Canva

The small van has been dealt the deatth blow with the latest announcement of the top of the Ram ProMaster Metropolis van. 

Picture: Work Truck/Canva

Will fleets quickly see the loss of life of small commercial vans?

As extra OEMs take away them from their lineups, that appears to be the case. 

What Vans Will Be Taken off the Market?

If the fleet trade is seeing the loss of life of the small van, it’s been a sluggish one, enjoying out during the last 4 years. 

It began in 2018 when GM lower the Chevrolet Metropolis Categorical small van (produced by Nissan) from its roster. Three years later, Nissan mentioned goodbye to business vans, ceasing North American gross sales of the full-size NV200 and the smaller NV Cargo in 2021. 

This 12 months, the pattern is snowballing. Three extra OEMs not too long ago introduced manufacturing would cease on their small van fashions:

Ford Motor Firm will cease promoting the Transit Join in the USA by the top of 2023. Mercedes-Benz will finish U.S. gross sales of its Metris minivan following the 2023 model-year. Stellantis will discontinue the Ram ProMaster Metropolis after the 2022 model-year.

The ProMaster Metropolis may have been the holdout amongst a dying breed, however Stellantis was merely the final to announce its compact van’s departure. 


The Ram ProMaster City was the last in the line of small vans to announce the cease of production. The 2022-MY van offered 178 horsepower standard and up to 131.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Available in both the cargo van and wagon models, the vans featured a max payload of 1,900 pounds.   -  Photo: Ram Trucks

The Ram ProMaster Metropolis was the final within the line of small vans to announce the stop of manufacturing. The 2022-MY van provided 178 horsepower normal and as much as 131.7 cubic ft of cargo house. Accessible in each the cargo van and wagon fashions, the vans featured a max payload of 1,900 kilos. 

Picture: Ram Vehicles


Why Are Automakers Killing Small Vans?

Ken Hampel, product operations supervisor, Full-Measurement Business Vans at GM, mentioned the pattern displays U.S. demand.   

“Anecdotally, I’ve seen a shift in demand from small vans to full-size vans,” he mentioned. 

Moreover, Dave Sowers, head of Ram Business, shared particulars as to why the Ram ProMaster Metropolis manufacturing is concluding. 

“We determined to conclude ProMaster Metropolis manufacturing as we proceed to pivot in direction of an electrified future with a variety of merchandise designed to fulfill the wants of small companies, work truck fleets, and demanding consumers whose business automobile could also be his or her firm’s lifeblood. We don’t talk about future product plans. Nonetheless, Ram will supply absolutely electrified options in most of its segments by 2025, and a full portfolio of electrified options for all its segments no later than 2030,” Sowers mentioned.


All-new for the 2015 model-year and last manufactured for the 2019 model-year, the Chevrolet City Express van boasted a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that achieved 131 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque.   -  Photo: General Motors

All-new for the 2015 model-year and final manufactured for the 2019 model-year, the Chevrolet Metropolis Categorical van boasted a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that achieved 131 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque. 

Picture: Basic Motors

All three of the latest OEMs stopping manufacturing of small business vans have seen demand drop over the previous couple of years. Even gross sales of the Ford Transit Join, which has dominated market share on this section, saw a 25% decline between 2020 and 2021.

Amid declining demand, some automakers are shifting focus to full-size electrical business vans. That shift may additionally clarify the small van’s loss of life, with funds being reallocated to investments within the new expertise. 

As an example, Ford already has the E-Transit on the market. Mercedes has plans to start manufacturing on the eSprinter, the electrical model of its full-size Sprinter van, in 2023. And GM intends for its new BrightDrop division to promote electrical cargo vans to business purchasers. 


The Ford Transit Connect was available in cargo van and passenger wagon with its last updates in 2020. It is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with an optional 2.5L iVCT I-4 gasoline engine for fleet customers.   -  Photo: Ford

The Ford Transit Join was accessible in cargo van and passenger wagon with its final updates in 2020. It’s powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with an non-compulsory 2.5L iVCT I-4 gasoline engine for fleet prospects. 

Picture: Ford


What Can Fleets That Depend on Small Vans Do?

Fleets which have opted for compact vans for his or her gasoline effectivity could discover some reduction in bigger electrical fashions, relying on their software. 

Hampel mentioned giant vans that run on conventional gasoline could possibly be a superb match for fleets discovering a substitute for small vans and may scale back downtime prices by means of dependability as properly. 

“Full-size vans are workhorses and are actually constructed for reliability and sturdiness, which is so necessary for fleets,” Hampel mentioned. “For fleet managers, sturdiness is every thing. We attempt to engineer our vans and different autos to assist mitigate downtime and upkeep wants. We discover that when our prospects retire a full-size van, they usually need to change it with one other full-size van.” 

Nonetheless contemplating shopping for a van? You might simply must go electrical. However till that is your solely choice, we have just a few extra tips to help you spec and buy the van you want.

Initially posted on Work Truck Online



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